On the heels of a Seattle Times report that hinted the Mariners and starter Mike Leake were “ready to be done with” each other, the veteran righty gave some insight on his professional priorities vis-a-vis the trade deadline in an appearance on today’s broadcast of MLB Network Radio’s “Home Plate” radio show (link).
“I want to win,” said Leake, before adding, “I’m not at liberty to sit around and wait on a non-winning team.” True to that earlier Times report, which characterized league-wide interest in the pitcher as “minimal,” Leake admitted that he hasn’t to this point been presented with any trade proposals from the Mariners front office. Leake, who possesses a no-trade clause as part of the five-year, $80MM deal he signed with the Cardinals prior to the 2016 campaign, would need to approve any move to an acquiring club, but it remains to be seen whether anyone wants a stake in the well-compensated righty. Leake is still owed approximately $25.5MM before his contract terminates at the conclusion of the 2020 season, with the Cardinals still responsible for nearly $6.5MM of that total. He has a 4.27 ERA across 2o starts on the year (4.80 FIP).
More doings from around the West…
- In a piece for AZCentral.com, Nick Piecoro paints a picture of two young Diamondbacks hurlers heading in opposite directions (link). While rookie Alex Young has begun to earn the trust of manager Torey Lovullo in a starting role, fellow big league neophyte Taylor Clarke has begun to produce some organizational hand-wringing after a string of shoddy appearances. After being called up in late June to fill the club’s “fifth starter” role, Young has responded by throwing 18.2 nearly untarnished innings (0.96 ERA). Though never a widely lauded prospect, the 25-year-old is turning heads with this introductory performance. “I think every year there’s going to be certain surprises and Alex Young has definitely fit in that criteria right now,” Lovullo said. Clarke, meanwhile, owns an 8.20 ERA over his last eight starts, and Lovullo conceded to Piecoro that his performance is an “obvious concern” for the club.
- In other news concerning a concerned manager, the Rangers are troubled by the recent slump of Nomar Mazara–and skipper Chris Woodward has been cutting his playing time, as Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News points out (link). Though Woodward largely maintained that Mazara will still be a starter for the team moving forward, Saturday marked Mazara’s third time on the bench in eight post-break Texas games. Never an elite defender, Mazara holds a career-worst 83 wRC+ on the year and is walking at a 6.0% rate that also represents a personal low point. With just eight hits in his last 57 at-bats, it is unclear how Woodward will continue to divide outfield playing time between Mazara and a rejuvenated Danny Santana. Of Mazara’s performance, Woodward allowed only that, “We want to see the results be a little bit higher.”